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Author Topic: Looking for a Source of Solid Silver Plated Copper Wire  (Read 2224 times)
N1UK
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Posts: 1430




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« on: April 15, 2011, 08:24:24 PM »

I want to do some wiring work on an antenna tuner. I am thinking that I should use solid silver plated copper wire but I have am having trouble locating a source for this type of wire. Does anyone have any source recommendations. It is a full legal limit tuner. Is 12 awg solid a good choice?


73 Mark N1UK
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WY3X
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Posts: 768




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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2011, 08:41:37 PM »

There are companies on eBay that sell silver plating kits, and as a matter of fact, if you don't mind spending the money, they also sell solid silver wire on eBay. It's really unnecessary, however, the primary advantage to using silver wire is that when it corrodes/tarnishes, the tarnish conducts as well as the wire when it was shiny and new. As long as you don't dip it in salt water, plain copper wire polished well will last as many years in the shack as anything else. If you're making a coil, however, then "Q" comes into play, and you might want to use silver plated (or solid silver) wire in that application. If there's a way you can use #10 instead of #12, go for it for the superior skin effect properties (less loss). #8 is even better, but is very difficult to work with. -WY3X
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N3OX
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2011, 08:53:17 PM »

If you're making a coil, however, then "Q" comes into play, and you might want to use silver plated (or solid silver) wire in that application.

Not worth the trouble.

http://www.bnk.com/w0qe/inductor_Q_tests.html

Quote from: W0QE
Therefore if I use a silver plated inductor, with silver plating at least 4 skin depths thick the best Q will be about 4% higher than the same shape inductor made with bare shiny copper wire of the same size.

Silver is a very good contact material and I think silver plated wire might be superior for a roller inductor, but I think in the end siver is mostly just for making things pretty if you're using a fixed coil at HF.

I think that spending the time needed to source some silver plated wire might be better spent on optimizing the layout and inductor form factor to maximize and maintain the coil Q!

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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
K4SAV
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Posts: 1840




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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2011, 08:56:56 AM »

It's not likely that the stuff you buy as silver plated wire will have 4 skin depths of thickness at 1.8 MHz.  At 1.8 MHz one skin depth in silver is about 0.00188 inches.  Four skin depths would be about 0.0075 inches.   Silver plating on fine cutlery is about 0.001 inches (40 year plate).  I have not seen any place that quotes plating more than about 0.002 inches.  If you can find a place that will do 0.0075 inches be prepared with deep pockets.

Considering that the skin depth at 1.8 MHz of silver is 0.00188 and the skin depth of copper is 0.00194, and there is only about 3% difference in skin resistance between the two, weigh that against the cost of a silver plated coil.  After the sticker shock, go get one of the silver plating kits and put a thin coat on the coil to make it look pretty.

Jerry, K4SAV
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N1UK
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2011, 10:24:23 AM »

Thank you for all the good information. All I am planning is a slight rewire on a Dentrom MT-3000A tuner. This tuner has 3 coax inputs and only Coax 1 can be selected to go through the tuner or straight through. Next to the "Coax 1 Straight Through" switch position is Dummy Load. Since I will never use the dummy load, as I have a solid state rig and also a 1kw oil filled dummy load, I am planning to rewire the dummy load switch position to select Antenna 2 as a straight connection. It looks like solid copper wire or tinned copper wire will work well here.


thanks  Mark N1UK
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N3JBH
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2011, 03:21:35 PM »

I think your right Mark just use copper wire the difference would be any thing you could even measure unless your really going to do a serious lab study.
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KI4SDY
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Posts: 1452




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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2011, 05:42:01 PM »

Gee, did someone "arc" the tuner?  Shocked How did that happen?  Undecided Using too short of an antenna at high power for the frequency?  Embarrassed
« Last Edit: April 17, 2011, 12:02:05 PM by KI4SDY » Logged
K4KYV
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2011, 07:51:04 PM »

It's not worth the expense or hassle.  Silver is only a slightly better conductor than is copper. 

http://www.tibtech.com/conductivity.php
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